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Meet the Producer


Bodegas Ontañón is a 5th generation family-owned and run winery in Rioja Baja (now Rioja Oriental). Here Raquel, Rubén and Maria Pérez Cuevas continue their father Gabriel's work to develop Bodegas Ontañón into one of the most highly-regarded wineries in Rioja. Ontañón has vast swathes of vineyard in this part of Rioja. Whilst wine production in the region is typically very dependent on contracts with grape growers, the Pérez Cuevas family has seen fit to invest heavily in the purchase of its own land and vines. Its 250ha is a testament to the importance it places on controlling grape quality.

The family's vineyards sit high in the Sierra Yerga mountains in the prestigious region surrounding Quel, defying misconceptions that Rioja Baja is one of the lesser sub-regions within Rioja. Many of their vineyards are actually planted at altitudes on a par with, or above, those in Rioja Alta and Alavesa; (La Pasada is their highest vineyard at 800m above sea level, planted in 1979 it is used for Reserva and Gran Reserva wines). The hot and dry Mediterranean climate allows for consistent ripening of the grapes with little disease and this has enabled them to pursue organic production across 57 hectares of vines.

A Note on Sustainability


Currently run by the fifth generation of the Pérez Cuevas family to carry on the tradition of grape growing in the southern part of Rioja, they take great pride in maintaining their vineyards in the most sustainable manner possible as it is their land that supports their family’s craft. As well as farming organically and producing a range of organic wines, Bodegas Ontañón employs a range of other sustainable processes.

These include: controlled irrigation systems to reduce water usage and evaporation; planting vineyards in cooler, well-ventilated areas in order to reduce irrigation requirements and phytosanitary treatments; using plant/grass cover in vineyards to improve soil texture, to reduce tractor working hours and to lower carbon dioxide emissions; using environmentally friendly phytosanitary products that break down quickly and harmlessly; planting several hectares of pine forest near the vineyards in Ausejo and tidying and maintaining the oak forest near the vineyards in Quel. The estate plans to install solar panels at its irrigation installations to generate the electricity they require, and it encourages its worker to car pool from its winery to its vineyards to reduce emissions.

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